Will 2016/17 be the time for this Liverpool striker to cement an England spot?
After a disastrous Euro 2016 campaign and the resignation of Roy Hodgson, England will undergo yet another period of turmoil and renewal under a new boss when appointed. With poor performances from Harry Kane throughout the tournament, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge largely flattering to deceive and Wayne Rooney playing in a deeper midfield role, it could provide an opening for Liverpool’s Danny Ings.
With a solitary England cap to his name, but four goals in 13 games for the under 21s, Ings has demonstrated that he is ready to progress with his international career. With great competition for places up front for England, with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott and others all missing out on this summer’s Euros, with Marcus Rashford making a good impression, there is no shortage of competition.
For Ings, a strong pre-season and a delayed appointment of a new manager could be his best shot at making the squad. With Gareth Southgate likely to be the FA’s interim choice, a manager who worked closely with Ings and appointed him captain of his under 21’s side, a call up would not be beyond the realms of possibility.
For Ings, the chance to play under Jurgen Klopp will be an exciting one. Ings suits a fast paced and pressing style, something he adapted to under Sean Dyche at Burnley, and will be used to devastating effect at Anfield under Klopp.
With Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge seemingly Ings’ main competition for a starting place, the English forward seems the closest to a natural fit for his side. Likely to be third choice at the start of the season, there are few players better to be in such a position. Hard working and enthusiastic, many Liverpool fans have likened Ings to Dirk Kuyt in that he will try his best and give his all at all times and fight to make his way into the team.
After being signed by Brendan Rodger’s and scoring three goals in his first eight games, bizarrely all in 1-1 draws, Ings was in form and handed a massive confidence boost by scoring against Everton in the Merseyside derby when Jurgen Klopp arrived. That meant that when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in training with England just after the German’s arrival and his first cap against Lithuania, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
After seven months out, Ings was fit enough to make a cameo appearance from the bench on the final day at West Brom, but returned to action properly in Liverpool’s pre-season opener as he scored in a 1-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers, a full nine months after picking up his injury.
The striker will be hoping that the next England manager is one who will be looking to the future. It is hard to tell whether or not that will be the case with no clear favourite for the job, but the bookie’s favourite Jurgen Klinsmann seems to fit that profile. Klinsmann was at the helm and given much of the credit for rejuvenating Germany and their chances, and by looking forwards with one on the future, Ings could well fit the profile of the kind of player he would like.
The top priority for Ings though, will be to break into Liverpool’s first team and maintain his place in the side on a regular basis. There is every possibility that he could be pushing for an England spot should he perform well, if he can excel under Jurgen Klopp in the way that many seem to expect. With 11 goals in 35 Premier League games in a relegated side at Burnley, he clearly has the quality, now he just has to show it at a bigger club in the form of Liverpool and continue his development as he pushes for a place in the England squad.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by LFC Season 2015-16.
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